Taking action against metal thefts
Homes, churches, schools, business premises and public buildings can all be targets of metal thefts.
Members of the public who live around or near vulnerable buildings such as churches and schools, should keep a special lookout for suspicious activity and report it immediately.
Information from vigilant members of the public is vital if the police are to successfully target those responsible for metal thefts.
"These crimes are damaging to society and affecting people's livelihoods. People need to be alert to any suspicious activity and not hesitate to report it to the police."
For example, this could involve checking adjacent buildings if you get up in the night, or as you walk your dog, or drive past, or noting and reporting suspicious vehicles.
Owners of vulnerable premises can also take steps to tackle the problem and may consider installing a range of additional crime prevention measures and systems.
- Identify where your lead is;
- Check if you are overlooked by any other buildings;
- Check whether any roof work is planned and inform the local community whether it is or isn't;
- Organise a letter drop or visits to local residents to enlist their support;
- Link in with your local Neighbourhood Watch group;
- Organise publicity through your newsletter or parish magazine;
- Identify a point of contact and make sure people know who it is;
- Publicise the police telephone number - 101;
- Use existing floodlighting to light the risk area (tell people when it will be on);
- Make sure external lighting is in good working order;
- Look out for people ‘casing' the property;
- Protect easy-to-access metal;
- Consider removing bushes or other hiding places;
- Use anti-vandal paint above two metres high (include a sign warning people of its presence);
- Remove ladders and other items that could be used to gain access;
- Restrict vehicle access to the property;
- Ask your local police for crime prevention advice.